I believe I had the same injury NBP. Its in the lower back I think it is your muscle (kinda near the side, lower back..but still near spine). I had to do a lot of research on my own. The exercises I wrote here were the most helpful.
Lower back pain is combination of tension in your hamstring and calf muscles, and possibly weak abdominal support (your abs help support your back).
I found the following stretches help the most. It is important to do these before you go to bed and when you wake up:
-lie on your back
-bring one knee to your chest
-use your hands to lightly press your leg to your chest
(keep your head back while you do this)
-Count to 20
Repeat with other leg, do each leg about 3 times
Reason for this stretch
: The hamstring muscle extends to the back. Any tension in the hamstring will tighten the lower back as well. Doing solely back stretches will not help (I've gone through it).
After doing the hamstring stretch above, I usually follow with this lowerback / abdominal muscle stretch:
: This stretches the abdominal muscles and the lower back.
I call it the "Walrus stretch
-Lay down on your stomach
-place hands near your shoulders, palms on ground
-Gently push your self up (keeping your legs straight, flat on ground) with your hands.
-Hold for 15-20 seconds
-Gently ease down
This stretches your lower back and your abs.
*Don't over stretch the back, do the exercise gently
*I usually ad in gentle twists from middle to side, back to middle then other side.
Following the previous two stretches I did these exercises:
Reason for these exercises
: lightly strengthens your lower back
(a yoga pose)
-Lie on your stomach
-extend your hands forward above the ground, but not above your head
-keep your head looking forward
-raise your legs in the air as well, even with the arms
-count to 15-20 seconds, repeat exercise twice
The picture has the arms behind the head. It doesnt really matter how the arms are.
(another yoga pose)
-Repeat the steps for the Walrus stretch, but do not ease yourself down yet.
-At the end of the Walrus stretch, raise your legs up (Knees to feet portion of your leg) at a 45 degree angle
-Hold for 15 seconds
-Repeat this twice
I doubt you are flexible enough to get your feet to your head. Dont try. Just do as I said above. The picture is just to give you an idea of the stretch:
-Do the stretch in reverse too (arching your back down). Don't arch it too much, as it can cause strain.
-take a look at the related videos, I saw some that could help too.
I found crunches to be fine. However, I recently found that it can be harmful while your back is still recovering. So here is some info that has some ab strengthening alternatives:
The Bridge: Strengthens several core muscle groups - buttocks, abs, back
Lie flat on back; bend knees at 90-degree angle, feet flat on floor. Tighten abs. Raise buttocks off floor, keeping abs tight. Shoulder to knees should be in straight line. Hold for a count of five. Slowly lower buttocks to floor. Repeat five times.
The Plank: Strengthening exercise for back, abs and neck (also strengthens arms and legs)
Lay on stomach, place elbows and forearms on floor. In a push-up position, balance on your toes and elbows. Keep your back straight and legs straight. (Like a plank) Tighten abs. Hold position for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat five to ten times. If this exercise is too difficult, use balance on your knees instead of your toes.
A picture of the plank stretch:
Also try this site for abdominal strengthening:
http://www.lower-back-pain-answers.com/ ... cises.html
Some useful charts:
http://backpainphysicaltherapy.net/wp-c ... cises1.gif
http://www.doctorvlad.com/lowerbackpain ... _guide.jpg
**As a side note, it would couldn't hurt to not only stretch your hamstring muscles, but your other leg muscles as well.
-Updated expired pictures and added links to useful charts.-